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Saudi Arabia receives first Couach FPB 2200 patrol boats

The Royal Saudi Naval Forces received its first Couach FPB 2200 patrol boats at the Jeddah naval base on 25 October. (Saudi Press Agency)

Saudi Arabia has confirmed that its new FPB 2200 patrol boats that the French shipyard Couach is delivering are armed with LIG Nex1's Low-Cost Guided Imaging Rocket (LOGIR) missile launcher for countering small attack boats.

The Saudi Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 25 October that the first batch of Couach patrol boats had been delivered to the Western Fleet. It did not mention how many had been delivered of the 12 that were reportedly ordered in 2020, but satellite imagery shows three 22 m craft had arrived at King Faisal Naval Base in Jeddah by 9 September.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that Hyun Soo Lee, LIG Nex1's executive president of international business, attended the delivery ceremony and that the new vessels are fitted with modern high-precision missiles.

The MoD released photographs showing an FPB 2200 fitted with a launcher that looked identical to the 12-tube LOGIR launchers on some United Arab Emirates (UAE) naval vessels. It also had the associated electro-optical director system (EODS) for acquiring targets mounted behind its flying bridge on what could be a telescopic mast to give it a better field-of-view.

A journalist from the French magazine Mer et Marine was taken out on one of the Saudi FPB 2200 patrol boats before it was delivered and reported that a LOGIR launcher would be installed in Saudi Arabia. The magazine reported that the large dome on the mast does not house a radar, but satellite communications equipment that will enable the vessels to operate in flotillas.

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